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Player Spotlight: Gus Thorp, 10th grade, Chippewa Falls

By Matt Carey, Contributor, 02/20/24, 6:30AM CST

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Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Matt Carey and do not reflect the opinions of Wisconsin Prep Hockey or its partners.

Most players making the jump from bantam to high school varsity need time to get acclimated to the speed and physicality. It’s a learning curve or some call it the on-ramp to get up to speed. Gus Thorp didn’t need an on-ramp. Gus launched into WIAA hockey like a NASA rocket.

There were games during his freshman season where he was the most physical and dominant player on ice. Following his freshman season, Gus was named second team WHCA all-state, and he was drafted in the USHL by the Des Moines Buccaneers.

This season Gus is a sophomore and one of the team captains. He helped lead Chippewa Falls to its first Big Rivers Conference championship since 1989 with a 14-0 record, the one seed in WIAA D-1 section one, and its first ever #1 state ranking.

“Gus is a phenomenal defenseman for our U-16 group. He is a natural leader first and foremost. The kids gravitate towards him, and he commands the room when he speaks! On ice his play does all the talking! He is very much a hybrid of the old day defense where he enjoys playing physically and can control play. I love that part of his game. The other side of his game with the puck that makes him so special is he can transport pucks with his feet or distribute with his stick skills. He has such a bright future ahead of him as he continues to fine tune his game. Our staff has thoroughly enjoyed working with him, and his ability to be coached.” Chase Drake, Team Wisconsin U16 Coach

“Gus is a big strong kid that moves well on his feet. Great vision and passes the puck with pinpoint accuracy. Captain that leads on and off the ice!” Scott Parker, Chippewa Falls Coach

Let’s get to know Gus Thorp!

When did you start playing hockey? 3 or 4.

Where did you play youth hockey? Eau Claire Youth Hockey.

Did anyone in your family play hockey? My brother, my dad, and my uncle Ernie played minor league pro.

What is your favorite hockey memory? Fun times sitting in the locker room talking with the guys laughing.

What is your pregame ritual? Get something to eat and tape my stick.

What hockey skills do you have that separates you from the competition? My physicality and drive to get better, and competitiveness.

Is there an NHL player you model your game after? Jake McCabe (former Eau Claire Memorial, Wisconsin Badger, and current NHL player with Toronto Maple Leafs).

Who is the most influential person in your life? My dad, and my coaches. My dad knows what it takes to get there, he wants the best for me and for me to keep getting better.

You were drafted in USHL by Des Moines…what communication do you have with them? They reach out to me periodically, and they came to some Team Wisconsin games.

What is the plan for hockey after HS? Play in the USHL. The goal is to stay in junior hockey for a couple seasons then go D-1.

What NCAA teams have contacted you? Minnesota Gophers, Minnesota State and Michigan Tech.

What do you want to do for your career? I would love to play pro hockey. Other than hockey I would like to be a welder on a pipeline.

Do you play any other sports? I like to play golf. Wake surfing.

What do you enjoy doing in addition to sports? Hunting and fishing. Working out.

What is your favorite food? Steak.

What is your favorite music group and type of music? Rap and Country.

Where is your dream vacation? Bora Bora. They have those little houses on docks. It would be cool to wake up and jump off the deck into the ocean.

Chocolate cake, brownie, or apple pie? Apple Pie.

Pickup truck or sports car? Mercedes Benz AMG or Mercedes Benz G Wagon

If you could meet anyone from history, who would you want to meet? Bobby Clarke (former Philadelphia Flyers captain and inductee in Hockey Hall of Fame.)

Final thoughts? I want to thank everybody that has helped me along the way. Especially my dad and uncle. I want to thank my mom for the constant support. I also want to thank all my coaches and all the people that have helped me become a better person and better player.

 

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